Recovery

 

Here are some articles and letters that may help your recovery. For most ex-devotees some articles may sound exaggerated but for a few ex-ardent devotees (including myself) the emotional problems and even trauma are very real.

If you want to email or talk about losing faith in Sathya Sai Baba and leaving the organization you can contact the following persons:


1. Andries Krugers Dagneaux, the Netherlands

Email:
andrieskd@yahoo.com

Outside working hours:

Tel.: + 31 - 20 691 33 55 (from abroad)

Tel.: 020-691 33 55 (inside the Netherlands)


2. Professor Dr. Johannes Aagaard, Theol.

President of the Dialog Center International (DCI)

Tel.: + 45 - 86 10 54 11 (from abro
ad)

Fax: + 45 - 86 10 54 16 (from abroad)

E-mail:
info@dci.dk

Homepage:
http://www.dci.dk


1. It Hurts by Mrs Jan Groenveld.

2. Psychological Issues of Former Members of Restrictive Rel. Groups.

3. Letter from Marina de Kraker.

4. About leaving from David V. Barrett's book "The New Believers".

5. Paul Martin about Trauma from Michael Langone's book

6. Answer from Frank Morales.

7. An Open Letter to the Followers of Sathya Sai Baba.

8. Bettina Woolard’s story about losing faith and leaving the organization.

9. What to believe according to Glen Meloy.

10. Here is a comprehensive site about leaving a cult.

11. Diary by Alexandra Nagel.

12. A site by ex-members of Eckankar.

13. Coming out of a cult according to Anton Hein’s Apologetic’s index.

14. Parody Religion.

15. Sathya Sai Baba Discussion Clubs

16. Here is restricted mailing list moderated by Mrs. Jan Groenveld.

17. From "The shambles in Baba's bedroom.

18. General Links on cults/new religious movements.

19. Anne's Rules For Recovery For Ex Ardent Devotees.

20. The Magic Lamp.

21. An Essay on Brainwashing

22. Biblical Warnings against false Teachers

23. The Guru Virus

24. The Guru Papers, masks of authoritarian power

25: The Betrayal Scenario

26: Ex-cult counseling on religious cults, sects, and related religious movements

27: Want to help someone you care about BREAK FREE from a cult?

28: Mind Control and Religious Cults

29: Essay by Dr. Mike Finch


1. It Hurts by Mrs Jan Groenveld (Cult Awareness and Information Center, Australia).

articles/ithurts.html


2. Psychological Issues of Former Members of Restrictive Religious Groups.

Psychological Issues of Former Members of Restrictive Religious Groups By: Andries Krugers Dagneaux From: Sai Baba - Anti Christ? Quick Topic Discussion Board, message 1339:

articles/issues.html


3. Letter from Marina de Kraker.

Letter from Marina de Kraker Dear Friends, My heart goes out to those who find themselves in the midst of inner turmoil, who continue to feel the suffering from the repercussions.

letters/marina.html


4. About leaving from David V. Barrett's book "The New Believers".

See:  http://www.thenewbelievers.com/

David V. Barrett "The New Believers, Sects, 'Cults' and Alternative

Religions", UK 2001, ISBN 0 304 35592 5 (also in paperback)

This book treats many new religious movements/cults but SSB is unfortunately not one of them.

Book review by Anthony Campbell

1. Book review at homepage.ntlworld

2. Book review at amazon.com

The following parts of this book are very helpful:

"We are all conditioned by our parents, by our schools, by many other factors in our upbringing.

....

The new conditioning of someone who has joined a religious movement has overcome the previous 20 or 30 years of parental and other societal conditioning. Once it is in place, it can be very difficult to shake. The member not only has the new set of beliefs, which he has learnt in such a way that they are internally consistent and completely logical; he has also become bonded to a new set of friends; he has also had a powerful religious experience; he has also learnt to revere and love the prophet or founder of the new religion and his (or more rarely her) teachings; he has also forged a strong new commitment to God. All of this is very real. To expect him simply to be able to throw it all away and return to the 'normal' religion of his youth, without a titanic struggle, is unrealistic.

...

There's a further factor. In the movement the member has been taught The Truth. How, knowing it, can she now turn his back on it? Like Christine in the example above, how can she risk losing her salvation and going to Hell? If you really believe it, this can be a genuine fear.

...

... Often people with a strong religious belief will say 'I know this is true' rather than 'I believe this is true'. This applies to many Christians in mainstream Churches, especially born-again Evangelicals, just as much as to those in many of the alternative religions. It is a deep conviction of belief, a certainty.

This is what makes it so difficult to argue someone out of their belief when trying to persuade them to leave the movement. Quite simply they know that they are right. Whatever logical argument anyone else might put up are irrelevant.

...

Effectively, they exchange one set of certainties for another - and for one without the social stigma of belonging to a 'cult'. What about the others, those who don't convert to another faith? An outsider, perhaps a concerned parent or friend, or a 'professional carer', is asking them to give up the absolute certainty they have, the safe, solid knowledge that they are right, and replace it with..... what? With the doubts and uncertainties that most people have, who aren't committed believers.

It's hardly surprising that many people choose to stay with their movement, even if there are other things about it which might be less than ideal."

"A member of any religious movement may feel a tremendous bond with other members. They share a common set of beliefs; and they have shared experiences. They have worshipped, prayed and studied together; they stood in the rain together, witnessing to passers-by, or (especially in the early days of the Moonies and ISKCON) selling flowers or candles or books 'for a donation'. This unites people, makes them one body, far more so than a crowd of fans at a football match or a rock festival. Even in the secular world people often find that if they join an organization - a charity, or a political or environmental group, for example - most of the people they then spend their time with are members of the same group. For someone in a religious movement, this is even more so; all their close friends, all the people they trust, are also members. Not only might they not have any friends outside the movement, they have learnt to mistrust anyone outside the movement. In addition, like the early Christians, they have faced persecution together - another strong bond. All of this is even stronger if they live in a community, however large or small.

If they leave, they are not only giving up their beliefs, which is difficult enough; they are giving up their friends - their family.

They are turning their back on everyone they know and love and trust. Both socially and spiritually, fellowship is an important part of belonging to a movement; to leave it behind is not easy.

Once a member does make the decision to leave, and carries it through, there is a further psychological problem that they may have to cope with. Once they are outside, looking back at what they have done, what they have believed, how they have lived for the last several years, from the totally new viewpoint of an ex-member, they might be hit by the amount of time and effort and everything else - the amount of their life - that they have wasted, thrown away, given over to something which (with blessÚd view of somewhat bitter hindsight) was so full of contradictions and idiocies and awfulness. How could they have been so stupid?

The anticipation of such a realization can be part of what makes it so difficult for someone to leave, even if they are desperate to do so."


5. Paul Martin about Trauma from Michael Langone's book "Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological of Spiritual Abuse"

From:
'Recovery from Cults: Help for Victims of Psychological and Spiritual Abuse'

Edited by Michael D. Langone, ISBN 0-393-31321-2.

Paul R. Martin is director of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Albany, Ohio. http://wellspringretreat.org/ This is a rehabilitation center for ex-cultists.

Chapter 10 by Paul R. Martin, Ph. D. Post-Cult Recovery: Assessment Rehabilitation

"Understanding Trauma In attempting to understand what has happened to the ex-cultist, it is often helpful to employ the victim, or trauma, model. According to this model, victimization and the resultant distress are due to the shattering of three basic assumptions held about the world and the self. These assumptions are: "the belief in personal invulnerability, the perception of the world as meaningful, and the perception of oneself as positive" (Janoff-Bulma, 1985, p. 15). The ex-cultist has been traumatized, deceived, conned, used and often emotionally, physically, sexually, and mentally abused while serving the group and/or the leader. Like other trauma victims (for example, of criminal acts, rape, and serious illness), former cultists often reexperience the painful memories of their group involvement. They also lose interest in the outside world, feel detached from society, and may show limited emotions(Janoff-Bulman, 1985, pp.16,17)."


6. Answer from Frank Morales.

Answer from Frank Morales Dear Exit Baba, Namaste. Thank you so much for your very kind letter. Needless to say, the massive response that I've had from most current Sai...

letters/frankmorales2.html


7. An Open Letter to the Followers of Sathya Sai Baba.

An Open Letter to the Followers of Sathya Sai Baba Frank Morales, M.A. International Sanatana Dharma Society The one-billion strong global Hindu and Yoga community has been...

letters/frankmorales1.html


8. Bettina Woolard’s story about losing faith and leaving the organization.

http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/pb-bett.htm


9. What to believe according to Glen Meloy.

http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/Pb-glen.htm


10. Here is a comprehensive site about leaving a cult from the Australian based Cult Awareness & Information Center.

http://caic.org.au/zleaving.htm


11. Diary by Alexandra Nagel.

witnesses/alexandra.html


12. A site by ex-members of Eckankar.

http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/eckankarsurvivors/


13. Coming out of a cult according to Anton Hein’s Apologetic’s index.

http://www.gospelcom.net/apologeticsindex/c09c.html


14. Parody Religion:

Many famous ‘new age’ gurus:

http://www.angelfire.com/rant/saibyebye/

Christian:

http://www.landoverbaptist.org

Based on Eckankar new religious movement:

http://www.quiknet.com/~cattours/index.html


15. Sathya Sai Baba Discussion Clubs.

Here you can address your doubts and questions & contributions. Hopefully you get a useful reply from others. There can be heated, off-topic or unfriendly discussion in the clubs. There are many different types of contributors. See for some funny cartoons

http://www.winternet.com/~mikelr/flame1.html

Note that everybody can read your messages. So think twice about using your real name.

(many off-topic messages)

(only for ex-devotees)


16. Here is restricted mailing list moderated by Mrs Jan Groenveld (Cult Awareness & Information Center) with hardly heated discussion.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ex-cult-support

"Meanwhile, let us offer our condolences to all those sorely bereaved and maltreated in this matter, who have been allowed no recourse to justice or compensation of any kind, and not least to the countless followers of sb who have sacrificed so much time, energy and not least money with such good intentions and trusting faith (not forgetting that the good social services and works are actually financed and carried out by them). The grieving process and self-liberation from the person and symbol of sb as the Godhead - made unavoidable by the major conflict between his words and his actions in all this - may be long and painful. However, greater self esteem, confidence and further realization can be achieved . "


17. From "The shambles in Baba's bedroom Commentary on B. Premanand's New Book" By: Ernest C. Owen Date: 21 October 2001 The homicides of six devotees in Baba's quarters in the temple of...

articles/shambles.html


18. General Links on cults/new religious movements.

http://www.religious.freeola.com/cults.htm

http://www.surrealist.org/links/cults.html

http://hometown.aol.com/shawdan/essay.htm

(The above site was found thru Anton Hein’s http://www.countercult.com)

http://www.xs4all.nl/~wichm/psymove.html

http://www.iguild.com/homes/eckcult/cultexpose/crucible.html

http://ultra-authority.20m.com/

http://cisar.org/990913b.htm

http://www.excultworld.com/misc_articles/daniel%20shaw%20essay.htm


19. Anne's Rules For Recovery For Ex Ardent Devotees.

Anne Briggs came from a Christian cult and would be glad to correspond with anyone who wants to share. Email Anne Briggs: Annbrigg@aol.com

Kind regards, Andries K.D.

Anne:

This is NOT the way I did my recovery, it is more the way I WISH I'd done it... but I did catch on eventually. If I had it to do over I would:

1) Give myself plenty of time & space to grieve my losses. When you leave a cult you leave behind something that was a huge part of you daily life, thoughts, emotions and actions. Not to mention all of the relationships that are suddenly severed. When all that is gone, there is an immense void. Don't be quick to try to stuff something else into it. Don't censor your own feelings. Grief hurts, but it heals, and it diminishes over time.

2) Take the time to realign my beliefs. This works better when the grief is not so acute. Bring everything you were taught out into the light and examine it. A journal comes in handy. Look at every so-called truth you accepted in the cult, item by item. Ask: Do I still believe this? Why or why not? What is wrong with this belief? How has holding this belief affected my life, and does it still have power over me? Is there some real truth that this belief distorts? Where can I go for more information on this issue so I can decide for myself?

3) Consciously place the cult experience into the context of my life. What inner needs (if any) drew me to the group? Is it part of a larger pattern in my life that needs to be changed? (Note this is not true of everyone who has been in a cult, but for me it definitely was.) What did I learn from this experience? What good things have come out of it? How will I use what I've learned?

4) Not allow my heart to get hardened; for then the cult truly does win! Learn to forgive, and that forgiveness and acceptance are not the same thing.

I don't know if any of this will help with the wave thing. That may just be the way you as an individual experience grief. Be very patient with yourself -- as others have said, it takes much time. 20 years later I still deal with it from time to time. Good has definitely come from it, as I am able to help some others now.

Love, Anne

Anne Briggs Annbrigg@aol.com


20. The Magic Lamp.

The Magic Lamp By: Beyond-the-Form From: Sai Baba - Anti Christ? Quick Topic Discussion Board, message 481: Date: 06-26-2001 05:20 AM ET (US) Maybe everyone is born with a magic...

articles/lamp.html


21. An Essay on Brainwashing

The word brainwashed is a convenient way to characterize a deluded believer in SSB and I use it myself too but I don't believe in brainwashing. It is just intellectual laziness to use the term in my opinion...

http://www.surrealist.org/betrayalofthespirit/brainwashing.html


22. Biblical Warnings against false Teachers

Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many...

http://associate.com/ministry_files/The_Reading_Room/cults/tsld006.htm

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us...

http://associate.com/ministry_files/The_Reading_Room/cults/tsld007.htm


23. The Guru Virus

Very interesting and funny website about the attractive and hence contagious illusion of a perfect guru.

http://hometown.aol.com/BDelphin/guru1.htm


24. The Guru Papers, masks of authoritarian power

By: Joel Kramer en Diana Altstad

Easily the most comprehensive, erudite, and timely book in print to explore autoritharianism in religion, institutions, power, the family, intimacy and sexual relations, and personal problems such as addiction...

The book is available on:

http://www.amazon.com

Click here to read the back cover of the book


25: The Betrayal Scenario

When a betrayal is taking place in your environment, part of you shuts down to process the dishonesty. As a result of closing down in denial, your ability to love and trust is diminished. Betrayal takes away your innocence, that part of you that trusts life. Betrayal victims feel powerless in an unfair and uncaring world...

articles/betrayal.html


26: Ex-cult counseling on religious cults, sects, and related religious movements

Counseling Resources on Cults, Sexts, etc. Ex-cult Support Resources.

http://www.gospelcom.net/apologeticsindex/c09c.html


27: Want to help someone you care about BREAK FREE from a cult?

Then read this new, state-of-the-art approach to intervention, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves. Want to understand how intelligent, educated people can be deceived, manipulated, and programmed with a new identity, capable of great violence? This book is the ultimate manual for how to "deprogram without force" even fanatic cult members. Significant excerpts and ways to purchase the book are here.

Visit Freedom of Mind from Steve Hassan !

Link straight to Freedom of Mind:

http://freedomofmind.com/


28: Mind Control and Religious Cults

Mary Garden's extraordinary experiences in India with several gurus, including Sathya Sai Baba, and in particular her observations and reflections on how easily some people can be persuaded to switch off  and surrender their powers of critical thought and discernment remain as topical and as poignant as when she wrote this article and her book. The new version to which she refers at the end of this article will be eagerly awaited. 

articles/mindcontrol.html


29. Essay by Dr. Mike Finch

An essay by Dr. Mike Finch who classifies followers into five types who each face different problems on leaving. Dr. Finch is a former follower of Prem Rawat, also called Maharaji, and formerly called Guru Maharaj Ji.

http://www.mikefinch.com/mj/art/cat.htm